Twoperson rope team

Glacier climbers on a two-person rope team traveling alone really need to know their stuff when it comes to crevasse rescue. Each climber must carry enough equipment for an anchor and a hauling system. The topside climber not only stops the fall but must set up the anchor while staying in self-arrest.

As the sole rescuer, first secure your arrest position by digging in your feet and pressing the ice axe firmly into the snow.

Try to free one hand by rotating the upper half of your body—but keep leaning on the axe. Use your free hand to place a fluke, picket, or ice screw. At this point, you'll see the value of keeping the anchors easily accessible.

Then attach the rope to the anchor with a prusik sling. Ease the weight onto the anchor, keeping ready to resume self-arrest if the anchor doesn't hold. Once you're safely out of self-arrest, back up the anchor.

Now the fallen climber can ascend on prusik slings. Another option for the fallen climber is to work with the rescuer on a Bilgeri ascent—pro vided the rescuer is carrying enough spare rope (either extra line, or the coiled and unused rope end carried by climbers in a two-person team). If neither of these methods works in this particular situation, the rescuer will set up a hoist, either a Z-pulley or a piggyback system, using the extra rope resulting from tying in 25 to 50 feet from the rope end. The climbing rope must have a self-tending attachment to the anchor (either a Bachmann knot or an ascender). The rescuer can lighten the hoisting job by first pulling up the fallen climber's pack.

If the rescuer isn't able to set up an anchor in the first place, the fallen climber has no choice but to ascend on prusik slings while the rescuer remains in self-arrest.

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